Dec. 22nd, 2008 10:52 pm
farla: (Default)
Huh. So out of the blue I'm starting to hit stuff like "I'm just goanna let that pass. If you have anything bad to say then keep it to yourself." and

"Right, um..

Sorry my story is not so damn freaking perfect.

I have my own ideas for it, and if you have a problem then just don't bother
reading it.

So now the question is - are these things actually coming in a pattern, or is it random chance and I'm just seeing the pattern there?

Especially when I'm still getting regular stupid responses. One particularly lulzy one I'll post tomorrow, it deserves a full showing.

I do think a clearer moral here is that snapping at bitchy authors is counterproductive or unnecessary, as the second one here and a number of others have had the author send me another reply where they apologize for overreacting. This is nice since I seem to be heading toward a minimum involvement level naturally.

I need to answer my email.

But I'm sleepy, so instead it's time for another installment of discussing hypothetical stories that weren't written but would be so totally awesome if they were.

So there's this fic Wish Granted, which is one of those real world/pokemon world fics. As with so many fics, the author's obviously at a loss as to how to make this happen. So they have their character arranging a trade with their friend for Jirachi. Then after they make a wish while using the wish move, they talk with their friend who says that, oh, BTW, Jirachi's wish move is like magic, so you should probably delete it to be safe forgot to tell you LOL. (Turns out it seems it can only turn people into pokemon)

Now, aside from the fact this is all stupid and contrived, there's the fact the basic setup is actually really cool.

Magic is awesome. I mean, really, really awesome. That there's real magic in the world and that you can find it somehow is just such a wonderful idea. So I am totally behind a story where it turns out there's a particular mcguffin that's magic. Especially in this context - the pokemon fandom has been a hotbed of crazy rumors and silly kids forever. The idea there's this one Jirachi that grants your wish for real is something that, for all I know, is an actual rumor somewhere on the internet among young fans. So imagine there's really one of these, and there are these rumors about it, and mostly, people just think it's a stupid story but some people do believe the rumors and try to track down whoever has the pokemon at the moment and then trade it, and it's actually real.

Wouldn't that be cool? A story just about that alone.

Then there's the idea that this jirachi has powers because it's basically a conduct to the pokemon world, and that the more its power is used the closer it gets to making a true, stable bridge. So it's like every doomsday mcguffin ever, only instead of unleashing eldrich abominations to bring about the end of the world, it's bringing magic and pikachus. So now the jirachi is being passed about to people, and everyone who believes and tries to make a wish on it brings things one step closer. Again, you have the people tracking it down and making the wish, but now there's a firmer plot foundation - what sort of wishes are people making, what do they do, what happens when the connection finally stabilizes, is there anyone trying to stop them?

And there's the seed of something kinda like that old Ray Bradbury story where the kids are playing Invasion, which is to say the Martians contacted the kids to trick them into preparing the way but the point is, all the kids are running around doing this thing, and they do think/know it's all important and stuff but in that kid way of it being a game at the same time, all the while the adults don't even realize. A bit like the early episodes of the third season of Digimon, which I loved to death, only lower-powered and with them working toward a particular goal.

Then there's the idea that the jirachi can only answer some wishes. In the fic it seems to be that it can turn you into pokemon. (Much like the idea everyone is screwing pikachus, this seems to be an issue of an author assuming their fetish is something that's standard to the population.) So now you have the jirachi being passed around to particular people, because if the wish only works for people who can sincerely wish for this, you'd want to try to get the jirachi to them as directly as possible if X number of wishes need to be granted before a conduct can form. And since the people are going to disappear after transforming, you'll now have competing rumors about a trade pokemon that makes anyone who gets it disappear, or that if you wish on it Jirachi will appear and kill you, and so finding and trading for it will be hard because people don't keep it long (they trade it before they finish transforming) and pokemon sites probably ban you for trying to ask about getting it, cutting down sane discussion, so we're back to the characters trying to seek it out. And again, the only wish it grants is turning into a pokemon, which in itself is a huge ball of story potential - not the idea of changing, the psychological issue of the wish itself.

Let me digress for a moment.

Years ago I was writing up little bits of things for a story where, for some reason, there were kids who would get a wish granted simply by it being the thing they wanted strongly enough. The main character, for example, grew wings. Key to the concept was that it only worked in cases where the desire for the thing was to the point the kid themselves was pretty much disassociating out of life - the sample wishes ranged from "can turn leaves into five dollar bills" to "having their mouth and ears seal over and their hands melt off", with the unifying theme of the kids dropping right out of society in favor of the life their wish gave them. The wishes weren't double-edged themselves, but they only worked for people who were fucked up because to want something like this that much required a damaged psyche.

This, to me, is what you should be getting into on a character who, when asked the thing they most want in the world, ask to be a skitty. That's not a normal response. That is so far from the normal response it comes out the other side of funny. Who are the kids, then, who are trading this jirachi and making this wish? If their greatest wish is this, what, now that it's granted, are their other goals? If the jirachi isn't causing a direct connection to the pokemon world to form as a result of its use, maybe they'll start trying to find a way there on their own.

And that'd be an interesting story.
farla: (Default)
So someone's incompetently bitching at me over on the forum, but nothing really impressive.

And again with the interesting ideas watch.

Someone has one of those fics where the cool/special character shows up, and they meet an ordinary person and interact. We need a name for the genre.

In this case, it's Mewtwo, and the whole story is just missed opportunity after missed opportunity.

It starts off with a trainer finding a somewhat out of it Mewtwo. He pulls out his pokedex.

Now, in canon, pokedexes only have data on known pokemon, which we've known ever since the movie when Ash tried to get a read on Mew. The pokedex does recognize Mewtwo, though, which means someone's released the information about him.


Now, the only person who initially knows about Mewtwo is Giovanni, and possibly some of his scientists. Given Pokemon's rather mutable canon, though, it'd be perfectly possible to assume that other officials have found out about Mewtwo. So what would they release? Well, maybe they'd just tell the truth, but there's a great chance here to subvert our standard expectations that the pokedex is some sort of automatic information-maker that's always totally right, and set up some delicious plotty drama!

Oh, you agree, author? You're going to have it be wrong? Yay! There's all kinds of awesome ways this could work out, depending on who leaked the information, and what their goals were. If Giovanni's behind it, I figure he'd want it to be something that'd lead to him getting Mewtwo back - perhaps a short blurb along the lines of "DANGER: DO NOT ENGAGE, REPORT ANY SIGHTINGS." Or maybe he'd want trainers to try to take Mewtwo out - either stealing the resulting caught Mewtwo, or on the assumption Mewtwo will annihilate them, keeping its existence to the world at large secret while alerting whatever monitoring system Team Rocket has. Or maybe the pokedex itself is wired to automatically report and the displayed message would be something along the lines of "MEWTWO: This powerful pokemon that's a boon to any team is friendly and easygoing. The best way to convince it to join your team is to tell it humans are superior and then poke it a few times. If it does not respond immediately, start discussing how inferior clones are."

Then there's just trying to sabotage any of Mewtwo's interactions with humans - say, inform any trainers that Mewtwo are highly intelligent manipulative liars, prone to mood swings that end in brutal painful death, evil sociopaths, etc. Something that will cast what we can assume Mewtwo's initial observable characteristics in the most negative light possible. Ie, if he starts giving a sob story about Giovanni being Team Rocket's boss, well, he's a highly intelligent liar trying to manipulate you into thwarting a good upstanding gym leader, either because he's just evil and hates good people or possibly because Good Citizen Giovanni is trying to stop him from murdering anyone else. Bonus points if Giovanni carries out a good enough disinformation campaign that Mewtwo starts assuming all the gym leaders and Elite Four are part of Giovanni's organization, because not only will he seem even less plausible, but now the odds are that any trainer he does convince will hit one of the innocent good gym leaders, thus confirming Mewtwo was just on a campaign to take out innocent good gym leaders, like Giovanni who's obviously extra good if Mewtwo is focusing so much effort on him.

If a shadowy cabal is in charge, our options are even more varied. What information they give will also give us clues about how good/evil they are and what their overall motives are. So whatever the information is, it'll set up all kinds of speculation and interest, as we try to figure out what their motives are from the empty shape formed around all the stuff they're not saying and that conflicts with what we know.

...oh, nevermind, it's just the pokedex data from the games.

You know, the data from a canon where Mewtwo is a completely different character and major events never happened? The data that, while totally inaccurate for movie!Mewtwo, is totally inaccurate in a way that is immediately disprovable, and, besides being a bit irritating to Mewtwo, doesn't seem to communicate anything to a trainer beyond just that he's a strong pokemon who's a good fighter? The data which it makes no sense for anyone to give out?

Yeah, that data.

Okay, that's just one letdown.

Then Mewtwo decides to tell his life story. It's adjusted mildly as a result of author fangirling (Giovanni brainwashed him, he didn't mean to kill any of the scientists) but there's no in-story suggestion he's telling anything but the truth. He goes into far more detail than he needs in the process, including many things it is not a good idea to tell a stranger.

So there's no suggestion Mewtwo isn't telling the whole truth to this trainer, setting up conflict as the trainer tries to figure out how much of what this strange pokemon says is true, or if any of it even is, and what bits might be missing.

At the same time, all those important bits that should cause conflict (say, killing people) are instantly accepted by the trainer as totally okay. No conflict there.

And Mewtwo accepts the whole totally okay thing from the trainer, instead of having the slightest degree of suspicious. Because, you know, his past interactions with humans have not involved being lied to or manipulated by them at all!

There is a really good story here. It's just not the one they're writing.

EDIT: Just got a review reply.

For the Pokedex stuff, it was never identified properly in its appearances, therefore, no true entry exists in the anime-verse. Thus, I put together the Pokedex entries of the games that were out at the time of the second Mewtwo movie's release, Gold, Silver, and Crystal.

So the idea of inventing something never even occurred to them, let alone the meaning behind a pokedex entry. In fact, despite it being brought up in that very review, they don't realize THERE IS NO POKEDEX ENTRY ON MEWTWO AT ALL IN THE ANIME VERSE. Not "they didn't mention it", it DOES NOT EXIST.

They go on to say that the story is meant to be a one-shot, because apparently one character telling the other his background is considered enough to qualify for a story these days.


farla: (Default)

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